Friday, July 26, 2019

Homemade Fermented Chili-Garlic Sauce

Homemade Fermented Chili-Garlic Sauce (aka homemade Sriracha). A little sweet, definitely spicy and with a little texture from the pureed peppers, this sauce has the perfect tang and "funk" from fermentation too.

Homemade Fermented Chili-Garlic Sauce (aka homemade Sriracha)

It's no secret that I am a hot sauce queen (or is it freak?). At any given time I have at least 4 bottles of hot sauce (different types, obviously) in my fridge and tons of pickled peppers too. Wasabi may as well be ketchup for how much I use it! However, I have limited experience with making hot sauces myself, but with a garden full of various scorching hot peppers I figured it was time! Serious Eats had a fantastic recipe for making a version of Sriracha that intrigued me for a few reasons - one, it used up a whole load of the peppers (yay!) and two, it used fermentation, rather than cooking, to break down the peppers and create the most delicious and complex mixture of flavours.

Now, fermentation is easy - in the sense that you basically do none of the work. I chopped up the peppers in my food processor (for the fact that they didn't need to be uniform size and I also avoided touching them!) and scooped the whole mess into the jar, where it sat for just over a week. All I had to do was stir it once a day and watch the bubbles. Once fermentation was more or less complete, the vinegar and heat are applied and the works is pureed. The result was an absolutely perfect condiment, better than storebought and spicier too (which was definitely dependent on the peppers I used). I canned a few small jars and stuck what I would use immediately into a tiny glass bottle. As far as I can tell, the fermentation stopped after the heat and vinegar were applied, but then again the bottle disappeared in under a week!

Unfortunately, last year I did not have quite the stock (or heat) of peppers we usually do, and this year is likely going to be the same thanks to all the rain. Fingers crossed I'm back to spice world next year!

Fermented Sriracha

Homemade Fermented Chili-Garlic Sauce
Adapted from Serious Eats
Makes ~2 cups
1 lb hot red peppers (I used a mix of long red and finger hot), stems snipped off, leaving green tops intact
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp raw sugar
2 tsp Kosher salt
⅓ cup white vinegar
  1. Place peppers, garlic, sugar, and salt in bowl of a food processor fitting with steel blade.
  2. Pulse until chilies are very finely chopped, stopping to scrape sides of bowl as necessary.
  3. Transfer mixture to a clean jar, cover loosely and let sit at room temperature.
  4. Check jar each day for fermentation, when little bubbles start forming at bottom of jar, about 3-5 days. Stir contents each day, continuing to let ferment until chilies are no longer rising in volume, an additional 3-4 days.
  5. Transfer chilies to jar of a blender, add in white vinegar, and puree until completely smooth, 1-3 minutes. Strain if desired (I didn’t).
  6. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until sauce thickens and clings to a spoon, 5 or 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to 6 months, or waterbath can for 20 minutes.

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